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a wee note to the msm

Written By: - Date published: 11:23 am, March 11th, 2014 - 49 comments
Categories: uk politics - Tags: ,

I’ll keep this short and simple. There is an independence referendum in Scotland on September the 18th.  After that date, there may be a change to the Union Jack of 1801. The reason there may be a change is that the flag is seen by some to represent the political union of Scotland, England and Ireland rather than the union of the crowns. There have been discussions on this in the UK media with prospective new designs drawn up. (Wales is not represented on the current flag)

So listen. Any talk of changing the design of the flag used by New Zealand prior to any possible changes to the Union Jack is utterly pointless.

So, how about you stop wasting our time, and your air time or column inches on all this nonsense and get to reporting on actual news. You think you can do that?

Update: Breaking from Stuff – referendum on the flag will be “after the election”


49 comments on “a wee note to the msm”

  1. Curious George 1

    What makes you think the country will have to change our flag if the UK alters theirs?

    • Bill 1.1

      I’d suggest that any country whose flag incorporating the Union Jack might want to consider whether they wished to have a historic anachronism on their flag.

      • Curious George 1.1.1

        Doesn’t having the Union Jack on our flag mean it is already a historical anachronism?

        • Te Reo Putake

          No, because we are constitutionally tied to the union jack, which is still in existence. It becomes an anachronism if Scotland votes to leave. Not that they’re going to, according to the the polls.

          • Zolan

            How can a historical record be anachronistic? Flag designs tend to be about origins.

            Perhaps I don’t know our constitution (such as it is) well enough, but my understanding is that we are constitutionally tied to the Crown, rather than the UK or its flag.

            Our ensign arose under a different relationship with Britain — In some sense, a different Britain. If the UK change their flag, then the ambiguity is resolved by retaining the old jack ourselves. It will merely symbolise the past, rather than imply ongoing subjection to the UK.
            If the UK changes their flag, there is less reason to change ours.

            (Of course, changing our flag is pointless if we don’t change ourselves. A lot.)

  2. karol 2

    Breaking from Stuff – referendum on the flag will be “after the election”.

    New Zealanders will vote on whether or not the country needs a new flag, but not do so until after the next election.

    Prime Minister John Key announced a referendum will be held during the next parliamentary term.

    • Bill 2.1

      Here’s hoping that’s an end to it for the time being then, aye? 😉

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.2

      …well, isn’t that just so gracious of Trickey to grant us an election without a meaningless flag referendum to boot.

      I think it an excellent example of Key’s complete lack of understanding and respect for democratic principles that he views a referendum on a flag worthy after his expressed views on the Asset sales referendum- and what a ‘waste of money’ asking the electorate such an important question was – especially with it not being held at a general election. Jolly good show old chap.

    • xtasy 2.3

      John Key has now backed off his personal intentions, to make the flag a referendum issue alongside the general election. So he seems to have been given advice, that his tactic may have been seen as a diversion tactic, risking to not only be exposed, but also be ridiculed, especially if economic growth may slow later in the year.

      It is good though, as the focus can now be on policy and stuff that matters.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    “So listen. Any talk of changing the design of the flag used by New Zealand prior to any possible changes to the Union Jack is utterly pointless.”

    Not really, Bill.

    If the union jack changes, it’s almost certain we will change our flag, if our flag has a union jack on it.

    But if we decide to change to a flag design without the union jack, then whatever happens in the UK is irrelevant as far as our flag debate goes. Since the vast majority of the proposed designs don’t have the union jack, and indeed moving away from the union jack (a la Canada) is one of the drivers of the whole debate, then really what happens in the UK is irrelevant.

    Now, one potential outcome, is we decide not to change our flag, but are then forced to change it if the union jack is changed. But I don’t see why that particular outcome should mean we shouldn’t talk about changing the flag now.

    • Bill 3.1

      But I don’t see why that particular outcome should mean we shouldn’t talk about changing the flag now.

      Because you have no idea of what elements the possible range of design proposals could contain or not contain?

      • Lanthanide 3.1.1

        Um, unless the UK change their current union jack into something completely different, the decision about what elements to include in a new flag design is “current union jack” or “new union jack”.

        As I’ve already suggested, most flag designs do not include the current union jack, so logically they would also not include any new union jack.

        Somehow I think it’s unlikely that the UK are going to change their flag into something completely different, which is in fact borne out by the very link in your own post, where the top two designs are pretty much just colour variations on the current jack. The 3rd one is too noisy to ever be a real flag.

    • Not a PS Staffer 3.2

      You have gone to the core of the matter, Lanthanide. A referendum before the rump of the UK makes a decision in its new flag will be wasteful, irritating and dishonest: unlesss retention of the current flag is not one of the choices. Does Key and Cunliffe intend to remove the current flag from the list of options?

  4. xtasy 4

    Yep, a very good point!

    Apart from that, people should see right through this flag debate that Key has started, and that he will continue to go on about, all just to get himself a firm place in history, as the PM and “leader” who “dared” to give New Zealand a “new” flag.

    It will only be a distraction from what matters, and what matters is policy, (real) performance, and the future direction for New Zealand, on economic, social and other terms, nothing else.

    Flags can be discussed and changed at ANY given time in future, so this is something the left and progressive forces should simply state, and not even start bothering much discussing with.

    John Key is a “(flag) rag queen”, who loves flags more than stuff that matters, it seems.

    Go and get a life, John Key, the sun on Hawaii is waiting, with endless time for lots of golf and chats over a beer and sausage sizzle with US “leaders” or business buddies.

  5. Not a PS Staffer 5

    The “Union” will be finished if/when the people withdraw from Westminster rule.
    Scotland has always has a seperate legal system, education system, police force and more. The “Yes” side is gaining with each poll and I believe Scotland will become fully independant after the vote in September.
    Shamefully the Labour Party under Milliband has thrown its lot in with the Tories. Labour is Scotland will get heavily punished for this: deservedly so. Gordon Brown from Edinburgh, the worst ever Labour leader is supporting the Tories also: dickhead. Cameron and the London establishment is thro

    For those keen to keep up with what is a very hot fight follow on

    The “Union” is that of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. From 1801 to 1922 it was Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom of Great Britain came about from the Treaty of Union in 1706 which between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland. Wales has effectiveky been a province of England since the time of Edward 1. When the people of Scotland undo that dodgy “Treaty” Great Britain will no longer exist. The United Kingdom of England an Northern Ireland will be what remains.

    • karol 5.1

      Left wing friends in England are concerned that if/when Sotland gains independence, there will never again be a Labour government in England. That is why they are resisting Scottish independence.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        it looks like little more than the UK Labour establishment trying to preserve its own self interested shot at the government benches, damn whatever the people of Scotland say.

        • karol

          I said to my friends that maybe they should just move to Scotland….?

        • Bill

          For a long time, socialists (and for the sake of this comment I’ll include Labour in the socialist camp) argued that nationalism ran counter to socialism or internationalism. Way I see that is, that it was an extension of Stalinism…no autonomy – everything under central control.

          Anyways. The Labour Party (both Scottish and UK) hold to that basic argument – that advances can only be made by creating ever bigger political units. I believe it was that man Jimmy Reid (again) who pointed out that you simply cannot have internationalism without nationalism.

          Meanwhile, the grand coalition of the Tory’s, Labour and the Lib Dems is….interesting as they endlessly parrot one another’s scare stories.

          Last thing on the independence vote aside from the subtle spin that has people thinking of a ‘yes’ vote as a vote for the SNP – it would be insane to ignore the protestant/catholic divide in Scotland. The ‘yes’ camp have tried to neutralise that fault line somewhat by pointing out that the Queen would remain as the head of an independent Scotland. But still – protestants tend towards unionism and Britishness.

      • Rosie 5.1.2

        karol, I’m glad your English friends can’t vote then!


        Scotland’s time has come, finally. Your friends’ may have concerns about their own country’s future but surely they must understand the history of the Scots and be supportive of their desire for independence?

        • karol

          Actually, one of them is from Scotland and, fully understands the importance of Scottish independence.

          • Rosie

            Is this the same one that is resistant to idea of independence based on their concerns for the political future of England?

            Sorry, I am a bit confused, seriously, I’m not being funny or anything!

    • millsy 5.2

      Scotland will not vote for independence. Plain and simple. Even the most dyed in the wool highlander will realise that independence will leave a young Scotland alone in a very harsh uncompromising world.A world that is far removed from 1707. And as the nations of Europe have found out, using a common currency doesn’t really give you much independence anyway.

      The UK government has already indicated that it will devolve Scotland more powers if it votes “no”.

      People have seen way too many movies — there is more to independence than Mel Gibson riding a horse up and down a paddock banging on about “Freedom”.

      • Rosie 5.2.1

        millsy – if the people of Scotland didn’t think they could go it alone they wouldn’t be having a referendum. I wonder how often they feel insulted when the outside world tells them they can’t do it, and that they are better off remaining in the Union

        As for your reference to people watching too many movies, thats fairly insulting too! Braveheart was a cringe worthy Hollywood movie made for an American audience, whose psyche contains stories of nostalgic heroic efforts for their own “independence” from Britain. It romanticises misery, and is simply a “good guy wins” movie.

        The Scots know their own history better than that and their ancestors around the world would have to be fairly daft to base their thoughts on Scottish Independence on a crappy movie. Some descendants are lucky enough to have written and oral histories of their families experiences of life in Scotland prior to their emigration. Others descend from more recent arrivals and are familiar with their ancestors stories in a more immediate way. That personal connection is bound to ally descendants with the Independence movement. You can’t really write off the interest in this referendum as being inspired by Mel Gibson.

  6. The Baron 6

    This “wee note” is stupid beyond words. Love how you’re battling away tho Bill, as if your OPINION is some form of gospel.

  7. Not a PS Staffer 7

    The “Union” will be finished if/when the people of Scotland withdraw from Westminster rule.
    Scotland has always has a seperate legal system, education system, police force and more. The “Yes” side is gaining with each poll and I believe Scotland will become fully independant after the vote in September.
    Shamefully the Labour Party under Milliband has thrown its lot in with the Tories. Labour in Scotland will get heavily punished for this: deservedly so. Gordon Brown from Edinburgh, the worst ever Labour leader, is supporting the Tories also: dickhead. Cameron and the London establishment is throwing the kitchen sink at the campaign: most of it counter-productive.

    For those keen to keep up with what is a very hot fight follow on

    The “Union” is that of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. From 1801 to 1922 it was Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom of Great Britain came about from the Treaty of Union in 1706 between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland. A bunch of bankrupt Scots lords were bought by the English. Wales has effectively been a province of England following the conquest of Edward I. When the people of Scotland undo that dodgy “Treaty” Great Britain will no longer exist. The United Kingdom of England and Northern Ireland will be what remains.
    rUK is the new lable!

    ( I was unable to edit or delete the earlier piece)

  8. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 8

    Another note to MSM – i.e. The NZ Newspapers, TV3 News and the crap propaganda shows masquerading as political programmes

    Stop trying to decide the next government for us by spreading your devoid- of-facts, poorly written/presented distractions, you moronic petty dictators, and start sharing facts.

    In short get the hell out of our way

    Thanks in advance

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      The Left needs to develop alternative media channels. It has needed to do that for the last 20 years. Too bad LAB 5 kept TVNZ on a for profit corporate basis. Thoroughly short sighted.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 8.1.1

        I would like to see alternative media channels develop – it is clearly a good idea – yet in my experience a couple of years ago we had 4 channels* that had very informative programmes on them – and between them I hardly viewed any other channels – all of these are no longer available – they were effectively banned.

        This gives me the impression there are some in positions of power that do not want the general public to know about things.

        What is the story there?

        Notwithstanding the above (or perhaps with the above in mind) those that are currently our mainstream media need to butt out of our way and stop presenting obstacles to an informed public.

        *Stratos, SBS One, SBS Two & TV7

  9. Tracey 9

    Funny how key doesnt think knighthoods are an antiquated link to an irrelevant colonial time.

    Cost of holding it between elections?

  10. redfred 10

    Interesting timing of this announcement as Government books are looking dire as deficit blows out!


    I believe the term hook line and sinker is appropriate!

  11. captain hook 11

    the last thing the msm want to do is report the real news.
    then people might start thinking for themselves.
    while the msm are feeding them sugar coated pills the proles will lie back and accept anything pretty much.

  12. Rich 12

    The ensign (the NZ flag is an ensign, traditionally used for minor local authorities like harbour boards and yacht clubs) of the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses:


    It’s the only ensign that preserves the pre-union with Ireland version of the Union Flag. Removal of the Cross of St Patrick was considered after Irish independence, but it was kept as Northern Ireland remains part of the UK.

  13. karol 13

    Hmmmm. Interesting. So the Campbell Live text poll (which is unscientific, but usually gets quite a conservative vote – 30+% Yes to changing the flag; 60+% No.

    So did Key have to back down and he flag because their focus groups said it wasn’t a goer?

    Just a diversion, that’s all.

    • Anne 13.1

      It was never anything else but a diversion of course.

      The is the clever Key who thinks he knows the hearts and minds of the voters. Jumps in head first then Farrar does some polling and tells Key he’s f**ked up.

      The strategy was meant to be in two parts:

      First, the warm, fuzzy photo and video ops (replayed ad nauseam for the next few months) with Wills, Kate and gorgeous Georgie. We would bathe in the warm after-glow while Key’s ratings soared into the stratosphere.

      Then on election day we would have a vote on our favourite flag design in the “Grand Election Day Flag Competition”. The excitement and anticipation would be almost unbearable on election night when John Key announced the result of the competition – after he had been re-elected of course but that was just a pre-show warm up.

  14. captain hook 14

    keep getting a pop up about mass surveillance. Petitions are not the way to go. Its about gear, money, time and people. just start writing letters to your mp about how much money is spent on this and how many salaries are paid and how much the gear costs and what could these people be doing otherwise..
    And keep at it. just putting yer bloody name down wont change a bloody thing no matter how many signatures are on it. just toilet paper

  15. Te Reo Putake 15

    Lanth’s comment above got me curious. Depending on what qualifies as ‘change’, there are bugger all countries that have radically altered their flags. Some in the post Soviet era, Iran post revolution. There are regular changes to many flags, but most of the other alterations are technical in nature; adjustments to proportions, minor colour changes. So, if we did fundamentally change ours it would actually be a rare event. Particularly so given that nobody has been shot/jailed/exiled in the revolutionary run up to the change. So, um, why? Why is this even an issue? Hell, is it an issue at all?

    Nah, I reckon it’s 100% Pure Distraction. John Key, Flagpole Sitta.*


    *i’m not sick but i’m not well
    and i’m so hot cause i’m in hell
    i’m not sick but i’m not well
    and it’s a sin to live so well

    • Populuxe1 15.1

      Bollocks. Countries change their flags or adopt new ones all the time

      • Te Reo Putake 15.1.1

        I already posted that link. Read my comment again, Pop, this time with your brain switched on.

        ps, fun fact; the Union Jack predates the union of Scotland with the rest of the UK, according to some flag expert I just heard on the BBC, so succession wouldn’t require a change there.

        • Bill

          Well yeah. There was a version of the union jack dating from 1606 signifying a union of the crowns (the flag of ‘Great Britain’). Political union occurred in 1707. And the current flag is from 1801. But here’s the thing, obviously flags weren’t always the symbols of political entities (ie, states). I don’t know shit about that transition, but it’s certainly happened. It’s as I say in the post – the flag is seen as a symbol of a political entity, unhelpfully called the United Kingdom.

          And while ‘the kingdom’ will remain united, the political union or ‘state’ that the flag is, by many, taken to represent may not. It’s not a cut and dried issue. If it comes to pass, I can see the unionists rallying around the union jack on the grounds that it’s to do with a union of crowns while others will point to its political ramifications.

          And old, idiotic religious enmity might raise it’s ugly head a little.

  16. Doug 16

    A referendum on changing the New Zealand flag will go ahead … Mr Cunliffe says if Labour is in government after this year’s election.

  17. I wonder whether or not John Key will also be suggesting a change of flag for his second home, Hawaii?

    Those ‘union jacks’, you just can’t escape from them.

  18. imo The current flag encapsulates colonisation and the domination of tangata whenua by the crown. Any (acceptable to the dominators) change will undoubtedly continue that positioning and further the ‘now we are one’ bullshit – but don’t worry many Māori already feel like strangers in a strange land. Funny though because when the celebrations for any change are made, guess who will be expected to add their unique cultural aspects to the ceremonies and so on, to give gravitas and solidity to the proceedings. The distractions/distortions that this flag issue are designed to bring are deep deep deep.

    • Bill 18.1

      Absently wondering what would result if designs had to have the approval of both the majority of the Maori electorate role and the general one? (Y’know, each one weighted to account for 50% of the result)

      • Zolan 18.1.1

        I certainly acknowledge that we don’t want a flag that denies currency to outstanding problems, or appropriates symbols without fulfilling the substance of what they represent.

        The following might be off-topic, or usefully illustrate and expose some issues.

        I have some flag-related articles hiding on wordpress.
        They are written for accessibility rather than for depth, but should still be tested under public scrutiny.
        Intro: http://aftermoth.wordpress.com/nz-flag-debate/
        Designs: http://aftermoth.wordpress.com/nz-flag-proposals/

        Warning: This does involve talking about flags instead of talking about not talking about them.

    • Rosie 18.2

      Well said marty mars

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    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Certainty needed for community services
    A couple of months ago I was at a seminar where three community organisations were presenting. Two of the three presenters were waiting to find out if their organisation would get a contract renewed with MSD. Not knowing if their ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Domestic Violence – some advice for the media
    For the purpose of this piece, I’m going to use Domestic Violence (DV) as a proxy for intimate partner violence. DV is not isolated to physical abuse in a relationship between people with the same power. DV is a pattern of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 weeks ago
  • Leroy’s New Paw Prints
    Leroy, an Auckland great dane recently received a new 3D printed bionic leg after cancer was discovered. I think this is a fantastic story and highlights the real potential of additive manufacturing, or 3D printing Leroy’s prosthetic was printed in titanium and was ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 weeks ago